As Powder River Basin coal continues to take a pounding with production down about 22% last year over 2019, the local industry quietly passed a milestone that represents the importance of thermal coal to the region.

The 12 Campbell County mines managed to produce nearly 207 million tons in 2020 as a prolonged weak market for PRB coal continued and the COVID-19 pandemic delivered a near knockout punch.

Powder River Basin coal

A haul truck makes its way out of the Eagle Butte mine with a load of coal. Eagle Butte and its sister Belle Ayr mine, both owned by Eagle Specialty Materials, were the only Powder River Basin mines to show an increase in production in 2020.

2020 PRB coal production

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